Interdisciplinary Studies

Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations (ESDP)

The Ph.D. in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations (ESDP) is to prepare professionals who can conduct research and lead innovation that enhances educational and life outcomes for diverse populations.  This would include those who represent cultural or linguistic minorities, those with exceptionalities (gifted and disabled), those from economically challenged (and especially high-poverty) backgrounds, those impacted by gender biases, and those with other relevant learning or behavioral differences. To accommodate the widest range of student research interest in diversity issues there are three concentrations: Context, Culture, and Policy; Pedagogical Studies for Diverse Populations; and Health Disparities within Diverse Populations.  This doctoral program is especially suited to preparing graduates with the research acumen needed to move easily into higher educational/postsecondary settings, P-12 central administration at the local, state, and national level, and leadership roles within school based settings, or non-academic positions within nonprofit organizations, specifically those with a research component. The minimum admission requirements are those of the UAB Graduate School. However, admission is highly selective, and most successful applicants have qualifications much higher than the minimum. Application packets must be complete in the Graduate School office before the applicant can be considered for the program.

Contact Information

For detailed information please visit the program website (, or contact Dr. Andrew McKnight (Program Director), Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson (Context, Culture, and Policy Concentration Advisor), Dr. Teaira McMurtry (Pedagogical Studies for Diverse Populations Concentration Advisor), or Dr. Larrell Wilkinson (Health Disparities within Diverse Populations Concentration Advisor).

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies in Diverse Populations

Core Courses (Students must pass all four core courses to advance in the program.)
EDC 750Critical Pedagogy for Diverse Populations3
EDF 755Educational Studies in Diverse Populations: Theories of Inquiry3
EDF 765Context, Culture, and Policy (CCP) Proseminar 3
CHHS 742Health Disparities in Diverse Populations3
Research Courses
EPR 609Statistical Methods and Research in Education: Intermediate3
EPR 696Qualitative Research: Inquiry and Analysis3
EPR 710Computer Applications and Advanced Statistical Methods3
EPR 792Mixed Methods Approaches to Educational Research3
GRD 717Principles of Scientific Integrity3
Concentration Courses 112-36
Dissertation Courses 224
Dissertation Seminar
Dissertation Research: Minimum of 12 credit hours. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. Note: One semester with at least 12 credit hours is required.
6 hours of directed dissertation research specific to intended topic
Total Hours63-87

Concentration Courses 12-36 Credits

Once the prerequisite coursework has been satisfied, you will choose a concentration from one of the following three areas:

  • Pedagogical Studies
  • Context, Culture, and Policy
  • Health Disparities

Dissertation Courses 24 Credits

  • Dissertation Seminar: 3 credit hours
  • Dissertation Research: Minimum of 12 credit hours. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. Note: One semester with at least 12 credit hours is required.
  • 6 credits of directed dissertation research or additional research courses specific to intended dissertation